Sometimes I feel
My relationship to American Poetry
Is a lot like the Halloween
I stood at the door of one of my aunts,
The sister of my mother, the one
Who lived in a small trimmed house
Married without children. There I was,
Not having much to do with her life,
Though she lived right across the street,
In the arc of her door
Paper bag open, without a mask.
I think I wanted recognition, the fame
Of being the son of her sister. But
She turned, and who was I,
To the next house, who am I now?
Cornelius Eady, poet and co-founder of Cave Canem, has published more than half a dozen volumes of poetry, among them Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (1985), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name (1991), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and Brutal Imagination (2001), a National Book Award finalist. Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems appeared in 2008. Cornelius Eady is the author of eight books of poetry, including Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems. His second book, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, won the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and Brutal Imagination was a finalist for the National Book Award. His work in theater includes the libretto for an opera, “Running Man,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999. His play “Brutal Imagination” won Newsday’s Oppenheimer award.